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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Monday, 10 October 2011

DOWN THE MEMORY LANE: ADVANI'S RATHYATRA O F 1990 TO CONSTRUCT RAM MANDIR!

Today's event of beginning nation-wide "Rathyatra " of the senior Bhartaya Janata Party(BJP)  and prime ministerial aspirant for next general elections of Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani from Chapra instead of Sitabdiara in Eastern Uttar Pradesh to protest corruption and misgoverning in the country,   has put me into down the memory lane of  similar "rathyatra" of Advani from Somnath to Ayodhaya to p ress for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhaya at the site of Babari Masjid in 1990 and halting of his yatra and arrest him (Advani) at Samastipur in Bihar by then chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav of Bihar on the advice of the then Prime minister of India Late Vishwanath Pratap Singh and "gospel truth mantarana "of trusted colleague Nitish Kumar of Laloo., who (Nitish) was that time minister of state for agriculture in the union government Chief minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar, who was in the Janata PARTY THAT TIME and close confidant of Laloo, was the main architect of halting the yatra of Advani and arresting him, is incidentally the alliance partner of the bJP and heading the coalition government in Bihar.
Coincidentally Nitish Kumar, once bitter critic of Advani and BJP to maintain his (Nitish) secular credential will today flag off the yatra of Advani from  Chapra Kumar was that time key advisor of V  P Singh and Laloo to stop yatra of Advani in Bihar obviously to save the country from communal flare-ups.It was 21 years back when I was eye-witness of the entire "arrest operation Advani and stop his rathyatra right from Darbhanga to samastipur "as journalist in  the Times of India, covering the incident.
Before going to cover the flagging off the yatra of Advani by Nitish Kumar to Chapra ,now as a freelance journalists at the age of 67 years as I have retired from the active services of the Times of India, I want to mention few facts-first I salute the then Resident Editor of TOI Sumant Sen for giving me free hand to cover the yatra and related incidents amid communally surcharge d atmosphere during those days and published my all stories, related to Advani and his rath yatra in Biharon national hook -us.Second- my most valuable sources in government quarters, the then Inspector General of Darbhanga range late R R Prasad(later promoted to the rank of DGP and remained DGP of Bihar for several years) and the then Divisional commissioner of Darbhanga V .Jayshankar(a senior IAS official of the Bihar cadre now retired) and other officials and staff of both the districts gave me ample  inputs time to time to write factually correct stories and analysis, related to halting of Advani yatra and arresting him .
Entire atmosphere was that time were surcharged with communal tension in entire north Bihar.P rotest, rallies, burning of trains, beating of minority ccommunity members here and there, blocking of roads had marked the days following the arrest of Advani and halting of his rathyatra , which remained lying abandoned for day together later on in the sprawling  Samastipur Circuit House after the administration in a swift operation arrested Advani in the early morning and airlifted him to the  luxurious guest house in Masan Jore, now in Jharkhand state at that time Bihar was united state. In the process, scores of people were seriously injured in entire north Bihar in police lathicharges, brick batting etc-but major incidents of communal flare ups did not take place because of strict handling of situation by Laloo prasad Yadav government and in next few days calm was  restored in entire joint Bihar. Nitish , at that time, had been camping here to give valuable advices to Laloo to face the situation. More over entire country in next few days flared up with communal incidents killing thousands of people of minority community and subsequently demolition of Babari Masjid by frenzied Hindu fundamentalists in Ayodhaya. But Bihar remained calm and quite!
Since the demolition of Babari Masjid by huge mob of frenzied Hindu fundamentalists  in the presence  of senior BJ leaders including L K Advani , Murali Manhar Joshi. But instead of controlling the crowds-they  encouraged them to demolish the masjid in no time. And this has happened  in three hours and entire masjid was razed to the ground by the  hindu fundamentalists. Incident was condemned throughout the globe and since than India's graph as secular country was being questioned in the world countries. Apart from that ongoing unstable atmoshpher in the world, particularly in the India is said to be the result of the fall outs of Babari Masjid demolition . Such fall out had also resulted into terrorists activities in India where thousands of innocent people had been killed in the last 15 years.
Operation arrest Advani and halting rath of advani were meticulously planned with many alternatives. Darbhanga  aerodrome base of the Indian air force was kept ready to land big plane in case of emergency even in night hour by lighting with "masals" by army officials. hectic activities were seen at the Circuit house in Samastipur where Advani was to stay overnight after his departure  from Patna on his rath. At about two pm Advani and his rath conclaves reached Samastipur. All of them leisurely slept  without any inkling what is at store. All the telecommunication network of entire Darbhanga zone specially with Samsastiur were jammed on the instruction of the Darbhanga divisional commissioner. Jayshankar was seen personally camping in telecommunication centres, monitoring the situation of jamming network. It resulted quite delay in submission of new reports to My editor Sumanta Sen after the arrest of ASdvani there.
Early morning a senior IAS official that time registrar of the cooperative societies R K Singh (now union home secretary) and a senior IPS official Rameshwar Oraon (now retired and two times Congress member of Lok Sabha from Jharkhand) were drafted by Laloo to give final show-down to the enact,ment of arrest Advani  and stop his rathyatra". Both the senior officials reached Patel Maidan , in the centre of Samastipur town,by a helicopter at about 5 am and straight rushed to the Circuit House where advani was styaing. Both of them awoke advani and armed with arrest warrant under National security Act, p plainly told Advani that he was being arrested. advani asked for time to get ready and requested Singh and Oraon to allow another BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan to accompany him. Later both the officials granted such request of Advani. In the meantime Advani wrote a letter to the President of India, informing him to withdrawing support to V P Singh government and handed it to senior BJ leader Kailashpati Mishra to deliver the letter as soon as possible to the President.And in next few minutes both of them were taken out and straight taken away to Patel Maidain where the helicopter was ready.
after sleepless whole night  Amitab of Navbharat Times and myself were there at the Circuit house whole night as I had strong hunch that some thing serious  was cooking up at the administrationand government level in Patna.. Here I must mention that over 300 hundred journalists were accompanying advani during his rathyatra some on the cost of BJP and some on the cost of their respective newspapers but significantly none of the journalists except two-myself and Amitiab were present at the time of the arrest of Advani. Later I could know that almost all journalists  had preferred to stay at Patna and had planned to accompany advani at Samstipur next morning for his advance jurney.I asked a few question to advani  and he readily replied and said that his arrest will create further problems for both union and state government. R  K Singh was angry with me while I was talking to Advani. Any way Singh and myself were old acquaintances at least he did not misbehave with me at that crucial moment. In next few minutes advani andMahajan were airlifted and brought to Masanjore after his arrest as earlier Planned by Laloo government.
With the arrest of Advani  not only communal rights were witnessed in several parts of the country, but whole comlexion of Indian political scenario changed and it is continuing right now also. Coalition era started since then . after a few  midterm poll many union govts came but did not last long. Finally with many political developments in the country, NDA, comprising of many coalition parties,mainly of BJP came to power and stayed in  for more than six years if terms were taken into consideration.
Much avowed rathyatra of advani could not succeed to construct Ram Temple in Ayodhaya at the site of demolished Babari Masjid, becauuse of  coalition compulsion but NDA, particularly tasted the share of power and luxury under the stewardship of Senior BJP leader Atal Behari Vajayee as prime minister of the country.
Paradoxically the same Nitish is today with Advani in his rathyatra. people have serious apprehension that advani's yatra throughout the country might turn violent and communal clash es are not ruled out, political observers are of the opinion.
I just wanted to put the facts before the people , specially young generation  as far as my experience goes and the things which I had seen with my naked  eyes during my journalism profession.
Columnist, Analyst
blog  www.kksingh1.blogspot.com

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